Tuesday, August 21, 2018

30 Days of Summer - Post #26 - Summer Vacations...Or The Lack Thereof

Ely, Minnesota is my second home. From the time I was 7-years-old, on up until I was well into my 20's, my parents and I would vacation there once...sometimes twice...a year. 

Shagawa Lake is the lake I 'grew up' on. The little white cabin, there
in the background, that overlooks the lake, is the cabin that our
family most generally stayed in while vacationing there.

My dad enjoyed fishing on the lakes and would catch, and freeze, enough northern pike and walleye to last us from one year to the next. My mother and I would spend our days visiting local places of interest and exploring the vast beauty of Superior National Forest.

One of the many lakes along the Echo Trail.

Many happy memories occurred on our trips to Ely. It was there that I saw my first black bear in the wild (a mama bear with twin cubs crossing Number 1 Highway on our way to Duluth), saw my first moose (a mama with twin calves down in a swamp along Fernberg Road), saw my first wolf, my first porcupine, and my first grouse, fed chipmunks out of my hand, listened to the chilling and, sometimes, crazy calls of the common loon, heard the call of a lone wolf, and picked daisies to wear in my hair. 

It was also the place where my oldest daughter decided to throw her bottle away...literally! She threw it out of the window of our moving vehicle while going down Sheridan Street in Ely! I said, "Okay, Girl! That's it! You're not getting it back!" She didn't care! She was done and she knew it! 😆

Sheridan Street
It's also the place where our youngest daughter lost her jelly shoes in the Kawishiwi River and I lost my cell phone at Big Lake on the Echo Trail! (I got it back though! Someone found it, called our daughter-in-law, whose number was in the phone, and mailed it back to me. What the heck??? My phone stayed in Minnesota longer than I did!!! 😆

My husband, all six of our children, and two of our grandchildren, as well as various other family members and friends, have been to Ely and our oldest daughter and her husband chose to spend their honeymoon there. The last time we visited there was in August of 2010.

Coming Up on Lake Superior From Number One Highway
Okay...so what's the deal here? What's with all these Minnesota memories and no current vacation stories to share?

Well...the truth is...we COULD HAVE been in Minnesota RIGHT NOW (I was already scheduled off and we would have left Sunday morning the 19th and been gone this whole week)...but...(and I can't believe that I'm saying this)...we turned the opportunity down. 


I'm think, sometimes, that we must be, but then again... 😰

Okay...so here's what happened...

A girl I went to school with...she and her husband...are good friends of ours. We stay in touch online, they've come down to see us a time or two, we've stopped in to see them a time or two and, when we can, we meet for a meal in the middle when one, or the other of us, are coming or going between here and home (home meaning Blue Springs...where we lived before moving to Liberal).

Anyway, my friend and her husband love the north country, too, and have spent time at Duluth and upwards along North Shore Drive towards the Canadian border. They were planning a trip there for her husband's birthday and, very generously, invited us to come along...sort of...and even offered to let us use their extra vehicle to make the trip in. 😲

Now, I say "sort of" because, the deal was, they would be leaving on a different day than we would have been (coming home on a different day, too) and we would have been going in two different directions (us - Ely; them - North Shore), so we really wouldn't have been vacationing together, but the plan was to meet up the last day and do something together down along the north shore of Lake Superior...either at Two Harbors or Duluth...before heading home. 

The Breakwater @ Two Harbors
BUT...then we got to thinking about it. We easily could have gone IF we put our debt-reduction plan aside for a few months and stopped paying the extra that we are paying each month to get that last credit card off our back before debt freedom...and, in thinking about that...we couldn't do it. 😭

Split Rock Lighthouse @ Two Harbors
This was one of the hardest choices we've ever had to make...to stay on target with debt-reduction? Or throw caution to the wind and take a Minnesota vacation? In reality, by paying the minimum amount due on the credit card and using the extra that we are paying to take the vacation would have only set us back a couple of months...BUT...hard as it was, we feel we made the right decision. 

Lake Superior From Split Rock
The truth is...once we are living in debt freedom, we can take that vacation and really enjoy it without throwing ourselves in a bind and feeling guilty over it. My hope is that in 2019 or 2020 we'll be able to make that vacation and really, REALLY enjoy it! 💗

Until next time...

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  1. That must have been a super tough choice. Just seeing your pictures makes me want to go back there. Such a beautiful place but you're right and will enjoy it so much more when debt free.

    1. Oh, Girl! It was a super tough choice. Everything in me wanted to RUN up there as fast as I could get there! BUT...man! Sometimes I hate being an adult! LOL! Thanks for commenting! <3


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